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What happened to DeLuca on Grey’s is awful, but can Alex not go to jail?

Eesh. Grey’s Anatomy returned this week for Season 13, and Shonda Rhimes isn’t playing, y’all — in an episode rife with tension, everyone’s favorite reformed bad boy, Dr. Alex Karev, showed up at the hospital with dreamy intern Dr. Andrew DeLuca nearly beaten to a pulp. By the episode’s end, Alex is behind bars.

You couldn’t have let us test the emotional waters a little this season before throwing us into the deep end, huh, Rhimes?

Let’s zip back for a minute and revisit the events that transpired prior to DeLuca’s near-death experience. It all went down in the Season 12 finale, when Jo and Alex had another big fight because she refuses to marry him. True to form, she also refuses to give him any explanation.

More: Seriously, though, why won’t Jo marry Alex on Grey’s Anatomy?

She gets drunk, and DeLuca drives her home to keep her safe. As he is trying to get her messy ass into bed, Alex walks in and assumes the worst. Hence the horrific beat-down.

Now, let it be said that what Alex did cannot be justified. I’ve seen other superfans say things to the effect of “He’s had such a hard life” or “He doesn’t deserve any of this.” But that’s a slippery moral slope, you guys. Violence and aggression are never the answer, no matter how hard you’ve had it.

Should Alex be held accountable in some way for his actions? Absolutely! Having said that, um, can that way not include hard jail time?

In the teaser clip for next week’s episode, it’s clear that DeLuca comes out on the other side OK. So OK, in fact, that he decides to take Alex to court. As is wont to happen, people begin to pick sides. Will Maggie and Mer be in opposition again? Will the interns rally behind DeLuca?

I’d also like to take this moment to point out that we just went through a really emotional court hearing last season between Callie and Arizona. I’m not sure how much more my heart can take, Rhimes.

So I’m going to throw my silent plea out into the universe and hope it lands on a fictional character, ’cause that doesn’t make me crazy at all, right? But, still. Dear DeLuca, please don’t make us choose between you and Alex. Here’s a hint: We won’t choose you.

More: Did Grey’s Anatomy just suggest Riggs is Meredith’s new Derek?

You’re real pretty and seem like a solid guy, but we’ve known you for, like, five minutes. Alex has been a part of our lives for over a decade. That’s a long time to stay invested in anyone, much less someone we’re simply watching on TV.

Yet, we’re still here. Like Mer, we are ride-or-die when it comes to Alex. Sure, he’s had a few unsavory moments (especially this one). As Mer says, though, “When I met him, he was one of the worst people in my life. Now he’s one of the best. I know both of those guys are still in there. I’m just trying to make sure the right one sticks around.”

My big fear here, though, is that this is the beginning of Alex’s final bow. He looked different tonight, right? He looks tan and toned and just… different. In my mind, that sets off red flags. For example, he could be pursuing other opportunities outside of Shondaland.

While on the one hand I kind of secretly hope Alex leaves the show in the near future if this is the evolution of his character, I also don’t think fans are ready for that departure just yet. I mean, dayum, we’re still trying to get over Derek’s death. Our fragile psyches need a hot minute before we face another loss.

More: Alex Karev, you’ve reached your Grey’s Anatomy expiration date

Plus, Alex is one of the few remaining OG characters left on the veteran medi-drama. If he leaves, it will usher in yet another new era of Grey’s, and that seems a bit rushed considering last season was the first season sans-Derek.

So, yeah, nothing personal, DeLuca — but I’d be willing to wager most fans’ loyalty lies with Alex. Sorry ’bout your luck.

What do you think? Are you #TeamDeLuca or #TeamAlex?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Grey's Anatomy slideshow
Image: ABC

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